Jeff Kent is taken into account one of many biggest power-hitting second baseman in baseball historical past.
However, that is probably not ok to get him voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, which can be introduced subsequent Tuesday.
Kent is in his tenth and closing yr on the Hall of Fame poll.
To some voters, he has a Hall of Fame résumé, whereas others nonetheless have questions on his 17-year profession which included 5 All-Star appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers and a National League MVP award.
Kent’s profession did not take off till he was traded after the 1996 season to the San Francisco Giants. Before touchdown within the Bay, he had pit stops with the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets and Cleveland.
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During the 10-year stretch from 1997 to 2006, which included stints with the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, he led all second basemen with a minimum of 3,000 plate appearances in residence runs, RBI, slugging share, OPS+ and WAR.
Some would think about that decade sufficient for a Hall of Fame profession. In 2000, he was named the National League MVP over teammate Barry Bonds. Kent, who together with Bonds led the Giants to the NL West title, was the primary second baseman to win the award for the reason that Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg in 1984. He hit .334 with 33 homers and 125 RBI that season.
With such a colourful profession behind him, USA TODAY Sports examines Kent’s case:
Giants’ Jeff Kent celebrates a two-run homer previous Anaheim Angels first baseman Scott Spiezio in Game 5 of the World Series in 2002.
Why Jeff Kent belongs within the Hall
Let’s start with the lengthy ball.
Kent, a profession .290 hitter, holds the all-time document for many residence runs by a second baseman with 351 (out of 377). That’s greater than Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg (277), Joe Morgan (266) and Rogers Hornsby (265).
Then there’s his slugging share and OPS.
Among gamers with a minimum of 7,000 plate appearances of their profession who spent a minimum of half their time at second base, solely Hornsby (.577) has a better slugging share than Kent (.500). Kent ranks third in OPS (.855) behind Hornsby (1.010) and Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer (.884).
Kent additionally had over 20 residence runs and 100 RBI in eight totally different seasons. Among second baseman, Hornsby achieved that feat simply 5 instances whereas no different gamers did it greater than 4 instances.
Why Jeff Kent doesn’t stack up
Despite his prolific energy numbers, Kent has a couple of marks in opposition to him.
He retired with a profession WAR of 55.4, which is decrease than many candidates on the present poll. Plus, it does not fairly stack as much as the common Hall of Fame second baseman’s profession 69.5 WAR.
Kent was additionally a latebloomer within the huge leagues. He was thought-about a mean participant at greatest for 5 seasons within the majors till he was traded to San Francisco and it wasn’t till he was 29 when his profession began to blossom.
But what hurts his case essentially the most was his lack of protection abilities. He by no means gained a Gold Glove and was thought-about a below-average defender. Plus, he led the National League in errors by a second baseman 4 totally different instances.
This is Kent’s closing yr on the poll. He managed to get to 32.7% final and would wish a historic increase to make the 75% wanted for induction. As of Jan. 17, he has been named on 49.4% of ballots publicly revealed and listed in Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker. Despite the uptick, the votes simply aren’t it is not trying favorable.
Will Jeff Kent finally get in?
This is his tenth and closing yr on the poll and the votes simply aren’t there.
However, Kent ought to be a powerful candidate when he is eligible to be on the Contemporary Game Era Committee poll for 2026.
This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: Hall of Fame: Jeff Kent hit extra residence runs than any 2B in historical past